Stage Four restrictions have left retailers unsure about the future. We spoke to retailers, suppliers, couriers and everyone in between about the new restrictions and how it may affect businesses.
Peter Gray, the Co-Founder of Zip:
“Zip’s data showed us that the retail industry was well on the way to pre-COVID recovery before the last batch of lockdown in early July. However, with Melbourne now moving to stage four lockdown measures, and retail effectively grinding to a halt, I think we’ll see more high profile casualties,”
Adam Priest, Strategic Account Director at Australia Post:
“I have received quite a few messages today and thought I would just quickly share the update for everyone, we are still operating and still delivering, especially in VIC for everyone that is now at home. We have you covered VIC, your mail, your parcels, our Postman and team are still there to say hi and keep you supplied with your shopping, WFH outfits, essentials, pet food, skincare, hair care. You name it, we will get it to you! Stay Safe, try to keep smiling!”
Mac Wang, Head of Australia and New Zealand, Stripe:
“While we continue to be concerned for the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the Australian economy, especially the brick and mortar retail sector and Melbourne-based businesses, we’ve seen e-commerce playing a key role in ensuring the resilience of the industry. Our data has shown that the e-commerce shift has been kicked into overdrive, with many small, agile businesses finding the ability to spin up an online presence quickly. Over the course of the pandemic, Stripe has enabled more than 10,000 new Australian businesses to come online for the first time.
“A new cohort of brick and mortar businesses, large and small, will now be accelerating setting up their online presence, and being versed in the complexities of e-commerce is critical — from ensuring the right payment methods are offered, to checkout design, and overcoming cart abandonment, not to mention customer acquisition, shipping, and overall customer experience.
“The focus for many now may be spinning up in the short term, but with clear signs the e-commerce boom will continue post-lockdown, businesses need to shift more focus to scaling their online presence and build for a resilient tomorrow. This means leaning on technology to take the technical complexity out of the equation and ensure their online experience is frictionless.”
Rob Scott, Managing Director of Wesfarmers:
“Our businesses are well equipped to further adapt their operations to continue to safely support customers and suppliers through these restrictions, with a focus on supporting business, trades and home delivery as well as contactless click and collect in many of our Melbourne metropolitan stores.”
“Given that we are based in Melbourne, we’ve had to temporarily close our bricks & mortar retail store. However, the majority of our business is online and we’ve been busier than ever since the first lockdown happened.”
Leo Zaitsev, Director of Klika:
“Whilst it is distressing to see so many of our peers in the retail industry being required to shut their physical stores during the Stage 4 Restrictions, I believe this challenge will be a genuine catalyst for investment in their e-commerce operations and ultimately demonstrate to their decision-makers the commercial viability of those investments.
“As a pure online retailer, Klika has witnessed a significant and we believe a permanent shift in consumer behaviour, with a greater number of Australian consumers becoming comfortable with purchasing high-value items online, and we expect this to continue beyond the COVID19 pandemic.”
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